What is a Living Will?

When a person dies, their will provides information about how their property will be distributed along with their other final wishes. However, a will may not only apply upon death. There is another document known as a “living will,” which outlines a person’s wishes in the event that they are incapacitated or otherwise cannot provide informed consent in a medical situation. Also known as an advance healthcare directive, the purpose of a living will is to express a person’s wishes in a medical situation when they are unable to do so themselves.

Terms of a Living Will

A living will explains how a person would like their medical care to be administered. A person may create a living will to express their wishes in the event that they are on life support or in a coma, for example. Often, these documents are used to define whether or not a person would like to be resuscitated or provided with other life-saving medical care while incapacitated. By creating a living will, a person can decide in advance if they would like to be resuscitated, should a situation that asks that question arise. Although this is the most common use of a living will, it is possible that a person may choose to define their wishes in other types of medical scenarios as well.

Should I Make a Living Will?

Like a regular will, any person has the option to create a living will if they so wish. Although a person may create a living will, it’s possible that the terms of the document will never be referred to if they never face an eligible medical situation. A person may choose to create a living will if they have a medical condition that they expect to progress and render them incapacitated in the future. Of course, it is impossible for most people to predict whether or not they will need a living will in the future. The document can provide a sense of security that your wishes will be met if you are ever unable to express them yourself. However, your decision to create a living will is dependent on you and your needs.

At Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C., we help families with their estate planning needs and other end-of-life legal matters. Call us if you are in need of assistance with a will or other estate law case.

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